Scania Australia has made some positive and serious moves to encourage more women to work in  the truck industry  by marking International Women’s Day, last On Friday, 8thMarch by welcoming 40 female students from the nearby Glenala State High School, to ‘find out what goes on at a truck and bus retail dealership’ at the company’s Richland branch in Brisbane welcomed.

Scania Brisbane worked with Glenala SHS to identify students who demonstrated an interest in one of the many roles that are available within the transport industry, from diesel apprentice to warehousing, administration and financial control.

The students met with some of Scania Australia’s female employees, including people and culture director Michele Gellatly, Scania manager of truck rental and used truck sales Anna-Marie Taylor, national dealer development manager France Sotogi, branch manager Rachel Kairuz, as well as the Scania Richlands’ second-year apprentice technician Jessie Woehrle, and apprentice parts advisor Shani Byrnes.

After a welcome from Scania Queensland regional executive manager, Richard Singer who briefly described his rise through the ranks and international postings for several global companies, the girls were sent off to examine some Scania trucks and be driven around the premises by Scania driver trainers.

Another group worked with a technician to track down a series of ‘faults’ using a Scania service laptop, while other groups heard employment histories from a selection of the Scania female employees, and were introduced into some pathways into the industry from TLI Connect and QMI Solutions.

Todd Hacking from the HVIA was also present to provide a further view, while trucking operators Michael and Megan Mahon provided a brand-new Scania prime mover as a backdrop for the day’s events, and Megan provided a view of life in the industry from a female truck fleet owner’s perspective.

At the end of the day’s events, the girls were presented with a certificate and a group photo taken in front of the Mahon truck, and said how impressed they had been with what they had seen and heard.

Kate Crowdy, a Year 10 student, currently studying a certificate II in Automotive, is a long-time fan of cars and trucks.

“When I heard we were coming here, I was pretty excited to find out more about how to become a diesel mechanic, I want to be one, and I have found out heaps.

“I found out that when I am 17 I can get an apprenticeship here (at Scania).  I want to work with trucks. I am already on the pathway to starting as an apprentice,” Kate said.

“I pushed hard to get into the Automotive course and my school has been very supportive. It has been a very good day and I feel like I don’t want to leave,” Kate said.

Year 12 Student, Hannah Faalevalu was expecting to be sitting in a classroom all day, so she was pleasantly surprised by the day’s activities.

“It was more hands-on here, and really fun working with the trucks and getting to know all the different components and how they work,” she said.

“I have learned a lot about Scania today, that there are different types of jobs. I only thought about truck drivers, but I know now that there’s a range of jobs.

“There may be a job for me in the transport industry down the track,” Hannah said.

Fellow Year 12 student Sophia Tuita said she liked the ride in the truck.

“I didn’t know there was a bed in the back or a fridge. I found out there are many different types of jobs. I thought it would just be about warehousing. I didn’t know Scania is in many countries around the world.”

“The aim of the day was to broaden the appeal of the transport industry to a new generation of Australians, and to show that this is not the male-dominated industry it has been, and may still be perceived as,” said Richard Singer, Regional Executive Manager for Scania Queensland.

“Globally and locally, Scania offers a rich and rewarding array of job opportunities at all levels for female workers, and we have several very senior positions filled by very experienced and successful women, from National Dealer Development Managers to our CFO.

“We are starting to see a shift as more females take up roles in the workshop as  apprentices and technicians, as well as in key positions such as finance, marketing, dealer development and dealership management.

“We welcome applications from women across the business, and we offer a safe and equitable workplace. One of our core values is respect for the individual which places everyone on an equal footing within the business.

“We are a very multicultural business with employees drawn from every continent and literally dozens of countries around the world. We are able to draw on this diversity as it brings a variety of skill sets, different approaches and ways of thinking, delivering us an agile and flexible workforce that is solutions-driven.

“As an indication of the attraction of Scania as an employer, we have more than a dozen staff members nationally who have been with the business more than 30 years.

“Also, of interest to today’s students is the fact that Scania globally and locally is a leader in the shift towards a sustainable transport system. We are at the cutting edge of environmentally-friendly transport solutions, with the cleanest trucks and buses available, as well as a range of vehicle engines on offer that can run on low emission alternative and renewable fuels.

“For students passionate about protecting the environment, Scania is a great place to work,” he said.

“This event, held on International Women’s Day was designed to show young women that there are many different and rewarding career prospects within the transport industry, and that they would be very welcome to come to work for us as we grow our business in Australia, and particularly in Queensland,” Richard said.